In a season of tough luck and bad breaks, the Dallas Mavericks had something positive go their way Friday night.
After finishing the season 24-58 and tied with Atlanta for the league's fourth-worst record, the Mavs won a random-draw tiebreaker with the Hawks and moved into the third overall position for the draft on Thursday, June 21 in New York.
That spot could move up or down again, anywhere from the first overall pick to the sixth, depending on the results of the annual draft lottery, held this year in Chicago on Tuesday, May 15.
The Phoenix Suns currently have the top draft spot and a 25 percent chance of winning the lottery and staying put. Memphis (19.9 percent), the Mavs (13.8) and Atlanta (13.7) follow.
Seven times in lottery history the team with the third-worst record has jumped to the top overall pick, beginning in 1985, the lottery's first year. The New York Knicks used their elevated choice to select center Patrick Ewing, who went on to a Hall of Fame career.
The most recent third-to-first jump came in 2013 when the Cleveland Cavaliers used the move up to select forward Anthony Bennett, who played in 151 games over four seasons with a career average of 4.4 points per game.